My Learning Experience with Children
The learning experience which built my foundation as a teacher and the one which I hold close to me goes back to when I began teaching at 19 while still pursuing my undergraduate degree in Psychology. It started with small after-school classes. My first student was a boy, nine years old with Asperger’s Syndrome. He was difficult to handle for a first-time teacher and would jump out of his seat, sing random songs during class with no relation to his actual life or lesson, and absolutely refused to listen to instructions. This posed a challenge for a first-time teacher. Classes would involve me struggling to catch his attention. Over time I became more than a teacher, I became a confidant. This was not an easy task – but with a bit of perseverance, extended hours of observation, as well as by thinking out of the box, I was able to make some headway with this student. We played games in the class to learn; we shared stories of our lives, and also learnt lessons beyond the confines of the school’s textbooks. Eventually, my first student began to show improvement in his behaviour, his classwork, and over time, his exam results. He taught me patience.
From then on my teaching journey has been full of lessons. Like I said, each student has taught me something. It could be on teaching techniques, on life, or just a little something I lost along the way in this journey called life but, they brought and still keep bringing me a new lesson to learn every day.
Nivashini Manivannan, Indus Early Learning Centre